Why Adding Blog Comments Does Nothing For SEO

Posted In: General Chat 

Why Adding Blog Comments Does Nothing For SEO

Hello readers, this week I have a double whammy (My spell checker doesn’t like the word but i’m leaving it in!) of articles for you. The first article that you are reading now is about dispelling a myth that leaving comments on WordPress blogs is a good way to get a back-link to your website.

The second article, that you can find underneath this one is about a nasty run in I’ve had with 1&1 Internet and a debt collection agency.

But like all chronological things, we will start at the beginning with the WordPress/SEO article.

I’m sure you have already heard this saying many times but I’ll post it again:

“Get As Many Back-links To Your Site To Improve Your Search Engine Ranking”

The above statement is 100% correct, BUT what isn’t correct is when people advise you that the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to get good quality back-links is by posting comments on blogs and entering your website URL. Here’s an example of a comment with a “back-link” made by one of my readers, Omar Martin.

A Nice comment

So you’d think that when the Google Bot visited my blog and looked at the comments, the Bot would follow Omar’s link out of the blog and back onto his site. Normally this would be the case, but not with a WordPress blog!

By default, WordPress adds a “nofollow” attribute to the URL’s you enter in your comments. This means that when the search engine bots see your links, they make a wide birth and totally ignore them. Don’t believe me, go look at the source code of a WordPress blog, and you’ll see the “nofollow” attribute, this is an example, again from Omars comment:

Follow me not

So the next time you see somebody saying that adding comments to a WordPress blog is an easy way to get a back-link, give them a slap round the face and send them to this post. Well, maybe don’t do the slap bit, but do feel free to send them to this page.

Despite all of this technical mumbo-jumbo, branding your name with your website link is still a great “Old Fashioned” way to get your website noticed. I don’t know about you, but whenever I read an interesting comment on a blog, more times than not I’ll click on that persons link and check out their site!

Thanks for reading this post, feel free as always to leave a comment – You won’t get a back-link but you will get a nice warm feeling inside! (Allegedly)


P.S. Next week – How to take off the nofollow attribute!

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22 Responses to “Why Adding Blog Comments Does Nothing For SEO”
  1. CindyM says:

    I agree that counting on any old WordPress blog for backlinks is a waste of time 🙂 but what about the trend in “do follow” blogs? You didn’t mention that if WordPress blog owners install a do follow plug-in then the bots will follow any links left. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this–do you recommend do follow blogs as a good way to get backlinks from other relevant blogs? Thanks!

  2. Sally says:

    I think the wordpress plugins can sort this problem out but don’t know that many people actually use them to be honest.

    I still think that blog post replies are a good way to get traffic though and have always seen good results from this.

    Sally 🙂

  3. Pat Graham says:

    Nice timing, Dan. I am in the process of designing my own blog… finally…and actually thought that backlinks would just happen if you submitted comments.

    Now that you’ve splashed “Rinse and Repeat” all over my mind, at least the “Rinse” part anyway, I am going to rethink my focus.

    Thanks for the info…Pat

  4. Hey Dan,

    I’m not sure why I’m commenting hear since it’s a waste of my time 🙂

    Actually, you’re right – WordPress blogs by default use No-Follow. But, there are a number of us who have joined the Do-Follow movement. With web 2.0 and the move to community involvement, I want people to comment on my blog.


  5. Ted Ellis says:

    The same can be said for some websites advertising holiday properties.They offer and even charge you to have your website link within the advert ,but then the no follow tag is on the page of your advert! Daylight or should I say Website Robbery!

  6. Robin Skeen says:

    So, what happened to link love Dan??? You know, you could have posted how to take off the no follow THIS WEEK!!! LOL Ya tease.

  7. Randy Smith says:

    Crikey Dan,

    I’m sure I disagreed with you a couple of posts back!
    (and I don’t like doing it with you being a fellow Yorkshireman!!) 😉

    Regardless of the do or don’t follow tags – posting on blogs (that are high in traffic/page rank) is still a great way for people to get traffic.

    Even with the no follow tags people will still click the links to learn more about the people who post quality comments.
    SO the lesson is to ensure your comments add to the blog – and you will get traffic from them, as opposed to the spammy “great blog – interesting post, I may visit again” type of comments….lol

    Add to that the numbers of people using the do follow tag – and then also adding your site link under your sig (I’ve never had anyone delete mine yet), and you can be sure of getting some traffic at no cost.

    So do keep posting people…

    Dan is very techy and factual – but that doesn’t mean he’s saying don’t post… as I’m sure he will clarify next time around?? 😉

    Best regards
    http://www.RandolfSmith.com <- So would that have a no follow?

  8. Dan (el_passo) says:

    Sorry Robin,
    Setting the links to “follow” is next week 😉

    Although Cindy and Sally (sounds like a potential girl band to me…) did mention a couple of plugins that you could have a look for if you are really desperate to get rid of the no-follows.

    @ Randy, yep I’ve just looked at the source code and it is indeed a nofollow!

    And I’m certainly not wanting anyone to stop posting, it’s still a great way to get traffic:

    “Despite all of this technical mumbo-jumbo, branding your name with your website link is still a great “Old Fashioned” way to get your website noticed. I don’t know about you, but whenever I read an interesting comment on a blog, more times than not I’ll click on that persons link and check out their site!”

  9. Heidi M Ross says:

    From my experience, no most do not disable their no follow in wordpress blogs. However, if it is someone really new they may have no idea about that. As for those who know, how many are gonna take the time to install a plug in, even though they are simple to do.

    From one of your subscribers

  10. Paula Brett says:

    I think perhaps some people are missing the point of Dan’s post. He’s not saying that there’s no point in commenting on blogs… of course, posting on blogs is great for traffic to your own site… people click on your link and visiting your site = traffic.

    I think the point was that Dan and I were discussing the other day how people mistakenly say, “oh, comment on my blog, it’s a great way to get backlinks”

    Randy, sorry, but you’re the perfect case in point and I think it may have been one of your emails that started the conversation. In one of your recent newsletter emails you said something like “do leave a comment and add your url, it’s a great way of getting backlinks to your site lol ;)”.

    I am sure you meant to say traffic, rather than backlinks, but there we have it – a myth – or a misleading phrase? 😉

    Paula Brett

  11. Omar Martin says:

    Everybody follow me back to my blog now…. lol
    It’s getting a bit technical in here Dan… can you spruce it up for us with a video of you doing the Robot Dance?

    If not I’d settle for the Aussie impression or the Scottish one that Paula is so fond of.

    As for the whole follow the link stuff.. well I agree with Randy, posting comments is a great way to “get out there” for newer people regardless of the technical link following business.

    But by all means Dan… if you can share some secret (yet easy to follow) toding solutions to the whole thing… please don’t hold anything back!

    P.S. I’m gonna put a link in here one last time just to check this whole theory. 🙂

    P.P.S. “Crickey – – how selfish of me!”

  12. Dan (el_passo) says:

    Sorry Omar,
    My body just isn’t designed for the robot dance, i prefer a much more “freestyle” approach, an approach where I can really let myself go. Here’s one I made earlier today just for you:


  13. John Szram says:

    Hi Dan,

    Seems the “no follow” tag is still a contentious issue. I’ve tried many things: Plugins that remove it completely or after a certain number of posts and also modifying the core WordPress PHP files.

    I read, verify and moderate every comment so it’s not such a problem excluding the tag completely. If I feel a comment is spammy or too promotional I moderate or delete it. That said, I haven’t settled on a method I’m 100% comfortable with yet.

    Look forward to reading how you tackle this issue.

    John Szram

  14. Dennis Edell says:

    I follow all comment links with a plugin, use Akismet for spam as well as manual moderation for “human spam” (great post! garbage) and not a single problem.

    So drop on by and you WILL receive a back link or 2 lol.

    I do not however allow signature links under the name, sorry. I offer plenty of link love as it is. My comment form is not a link farm.

    I will allow a link within the comment, IF it is relevant and helpful to the conversation. 🙂

  15. Randy Smith says:


    You’re right Paula…

    I better get Dan to hurry up and show us how to take off the nofollow bit!!

    But yeah – it does get you traffic regardless – provided you make good posts!


  16. Dan (el_passo) says:

    After reading all of these posts….I’ve been thinking.

    As a blog owner, why would you want to remove the nofollow tags?

    Discuss…. 🙂

  17. Sally says:

    I think that myself and cindy should start a girl band, with Dan doing his robotic type dance in the background!

    Who said Britain doesn’t have talent!!!

    Sally 🙂

  18. Robin Skeen says:

    Okay, the fat man dance was. . . oh I really am speechless and you probably realize THAT doesn’t happen often. Yes, I’ve looked into the plugins, just not sure I’m playing with them correctly. But I DO get plenty of visitors from my comments on blogs so I only recently started thinking about this subject seriously. I can’t answer your question about WHY I would want to take it off because I really don’t know WHY it’s there in the first place. So, back to square one for me and waiting for chapter 2. 😀

  19. Randy Smith says:

    Why remove the nofollow thingy…..

    I guess some people would want it left in place due to them worrying about their page rank being affected by having outbound links to less popular sites????

    If that is the case – it makes a mockery of the ….
    “I’m here to help you” line so often quoted!

    Yes – we all know we are all here to earn extra cash…..but if the cash is the number one priority with a ‘sod them all’ attitude – can people really say they are trying to help?

    Therefore my reasons for wanting to remove the nofollow – is to allow my readers and comment posters to benefit from the links…

    I’m not worried about the spammers trying to benefit – because I had a caring marketer install an aiskimet plugin thingy (thanks Dan) that sticks all dodgy comments into a quarantine – and I delete the crappy posts!

    Therefore those left are genuine – so why wouldn’t I want to help them get some extra traffic???

    In fact – I’ve often linked to others with no affy link – just because I thought it beneficial to my readers, or because the site owner deserved some extra publicity…. why not?

    Does that affect my income?
    I think not
    If anything it shows that I am doing this both for the money AND to help others make more too!

    Well that’s my tuppence worth!

    http://www.MoreMonthly.com <- Just launched

  20. Paula Brett says:

    I’m not into all this SEO stuff as much as Dan, but I’m sure I picked up somewhere along the way that, amongst many other things, sites are also judged by the search engines and especially Google, by the quality of sites you actually link to (as well as the sites that are linked TO you)?

    e.g. Someone might leave you a great comment, but their site might be blacklisted by Google, you will only know this if you check out every single commenter’s site, which could be really time consuming. If the site that you are linking to/following is blacklisted, this reflects badly on your site.

    So might this be a possible reason why some people would be reluctant
    to remove the `no follow’?


  21. Dan (el_passo) says:

    I think one of the reasons the nofollow is there in the first place is to stop your blog from becoming a link farm.

    In general the more outbound links you have on a page, the less valuable that page becomes and you risk turning your site into a link farm from a search engines point of view, which would make all links on the site worthless and it could also lead to your site (the blog) being de-listed from the search engines.

    So it’s a cache 22 situation, my personal choice would be to leave the nofollow links in place. It’s so easy to get back links nowadays (write articles!!) I don’t think it is worth having the blog de-listed from the search engines.